Post fare hike, Dubai cab franchisees want more


By Matovu A. Twaha

DESPITE granting their fare hike wish granted, Dubai taxi franchise companies still cry for similar rights like their competitor, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)-owned Dubai Taxi Corporation.

Several demands were tabled before the RTA bigwigs a month ago. Among them was raising taxi fare “to enable us at least meet our operation costs,” as one of the franchise company’s executives told The Gulf Today. This was granted, and from Friday Jan.22, 2011, passengers will be coughing up an additional 11 fils per kilometre covered.

Others demands were – and none has so far been granted – allowing them to offer their services at the Dubai International Airport on par with the Dubai Taxi, while also calling for permission to display advertisements on their cabs.

Also sought by the franchise companies was to have a common booking and dispatch centre for taxis, with a standard number 04-2080808.

There are five franchise companies: the RTA owned Dubai Taxi (Corporation), DTC; Cars Taxi, Metro Taxi, National Taxi, and Arabia Taxi, all sharing an odd 8,000 fleets.

There are six taxi services offered by taxicabs affiliated to the 3,500-stong DTC fleet, namely, Airport Taxi (348 cabs), Hatta Taxi (3 cabs), Ladies & Families Taxi (26 cabs), Special Needs Taxi (4 cabs), District Taxi (20 cabs), and the General Taxi and Van (3105 cabs).

As the other franchise companies grumble, the DTC has kicked off a promotional campaign entitled “DTC Fleet” of what they have called part of their “strategic vision to upgrade the level of taxi services rendered to customers, enhance operational efficiency and promote DTC services among all segments of the community.”

The director of DTC Fleet Operations, Yousef Al Ali said that the promotional campaign was rolled out at the end of last November.

“The campaign included displaying promotional ads of the services on 100 vehicles besides distributing brochures and leaflets to taxis, Metro stations, Dubai airports, shopping centers and other service outlets.”